If you're applying for a Home Care Package, it's likely that you'll cross paths with Centrelink at some point during your Home Care journey.

Many people with Home Care Packages are asked to contribute towards the cost of their care if they can afford to do so. The governing body who decides whether you can afford to or not, is Centrelink.

What can Home Care Package funds be used for?

Home Care Package funds can be used for care and services to keep you living safely in your own home. For a detailed list of services, see Using your Home Care Package.

Do you have to pay for a Home Care Package?

If you have a Home Care Package you can be asked to contribute towards the cost of your care and services. Full pensioners generally do not have to contribute to the cost of their Home Care Package and do not have to submit an income test to Centrelink. 

What is the maximum income-tested fee for Home Care Packages?

The government decides whether or you need to contribute towards the cost of your care. The maximum Income Tested Fee you can be asked to pay each year is approximately $11,000 and there’s a lifetime cap of contributions of approximately $63,000.

You do not have to complete the Income Tested Care Fee form if you are receiving the Age Pension or Disability Support Pension. Centrelink already has your details and can work out if you need to contribute anything towards your Home Care Package.

Self-funded retirees should complete the Income Tested Care Fee form to work out how much they may need to contribute towards their Home Care Package.

You can access the Income Tested Care Fee form here.

A good tip is to complete the form, print it and submit it at Centrelink as you are more likely to get a quicker indication of any Income Tested Fee you may have to pay.

The results of the Income Test are valid for 120 days before you start your Home Care Package.

If you do not provide income details to Centrelink, you will be asked to pay maximum fees towards the Home Care Package until you hit the cap of approximately $11,000.

Aged Care fee estimator

The Department of Human Services provides an estimator tool so you can estimate the fees and charges you may need to pay for aged care. You can access the Aged Care fee estimator here.